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Car crash takes life of Kuna, Meridian leader Lisa Holland

Lisa Holland, Economic Development Director for the City of Kuna and Planning and Zoning Commissioner for the City of Meridian died this weekend. She was 34.

Holland and her sister Laurie Bloomquist both died in a highway accident that involved seven vehicles south of Mountain Home on Highway 51 Saturday afternoon. Idaho State Police released few details about the accident, other than to note it included a semi-trailer and six passenger vehicles. Four other people were taken to the hospital, including Holland’s husband, Daniel and a juvenile who was in the Hollands’ car. The juvenile later died, according to ISP.

‘Economic development is my passion’

Lisa Holland was a fierce advocate for the Boise valley and economic development. She worked for more than seven years for the Boise Valley Economic Partnership, helping to attract new businesses to the area.

A Northwest Nazarene University graduate, Holland branched out in 2018, leaving BVEP for the City of Kuna – where she focused in on the fast-growing town in southern Ada County as Economic Development Director. Her passion for building a more sustainable base for the once-small town was infectious.

During an hour-long Zoom call last fall, Holland told BoiseDev about all the things the city hoped to do.

“For me, since economic development is my passion, I want to see more commercial come in,” she said in December. “Kuna has been working to identify ‘what is our identity?’ Every city has their own unique thing. We want to keep that small-town feel but be a self-servicing full-function community.”

She told us about the work at Dilly’s Pickles, and touted the Kuna Market Village. She helped us write about the city’s efforts to improve through urban renewal.

“The question most people ask me when I tell them I work in economic development is, ‘What’s coming to Kuna?’” Holland told the Kuna-Melba News in 2019. “I love to spin that question around a little bit and ask, ‘What does a win look like for Kuna?’ I think that’s the question we all need to be asking, is what kind of community do we want to be.”

[Kuna hopes to ‘do it right,’ use urban renewal to keep residents close to home]

New parents, busy life

Holland her husband Dan lived in Meridian – where they welcomed a new baby boy, Milo last fall. She told the Kuna-Melba News in 2018 that she loved traveling around Idaho, camping, and swimming at the state’s lakes.

On top of her full-time day job and new baby, Holland also served as a member of the Meridian Planning & Zoning Commission. She started on the volunteer commission in 2018, and last year the city renominated her for a second full term.

She also served on the advisory board member for CATCH, a board member for the SW Idaho Manufacturer’s Alliance and the advisory board for the Idaho Women’s Business Center.

Her life was full. And she crystalized her approach with a passage on her LinkedIn page.

“My mantra: Never stop learning. Never stop doing. Never stop giving. Try to inspire change by looking at something from a different perspective through collaboration, gathering stakeholders and having an open mind.

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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